Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 32
  2. Negative: 12 out of 32
  1. 100
    It's one of the best films of the year.
  2. 83
    Something of an unforgettable experience.
  3. Disturbing, visually stunning thriller.
  4. 70
    Tarsem uses the dramatically shallow plot to create a dream world densely packed with images of beauty and terror that cling to the memory even if you don't want them to.
  5. 63
    Impresses more than it entertains.
  6. Has its effectively nasty, chilling moments -- and it also brings body piercing to new heights of ickiness.
  7. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Many of the film's images will prove more than some viewers can take.
  8. The Cell is eye candy - but it could give your brain a bad case of indigestion.
  9. 60
    Repetitive, aimless, and as frustrating as you'd imagine any two-hour music video to be.
  10. 60
    The costumes are phenomenal, the set design ravishing and the sadistic inventiveness extraordinary.
  11. 60
    Not nearly the mindfuck it wants to be.
  12. The Cell is foremost about singular imagery, a succession of still pictures strung together frame by frame.
  13. The action is as grisly as it is surrealistic.
  14. 50
    A high-tech freak show, a gallery of grotesqueries that are fascinating and repellent.
  15. 50
    Generic variation on the overworked serial-killer genre.
  16. Visually impressive but exceedingly unpleasant little nail-biter.
  17. 50
    Mr. Singh may have an artist's temperament, and he shows signs of being a director
  18. 50
    A must-see movie, simply for its awe-inspiring production values, but you'll feel nothing but punished by Tarsem's ghoulish parade of images.
  19. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    What makes The Cell worth viewing at all is the carefully sculpted imagery.
  20. Riveting in its low way. It traffics in imagery profoundly disturbing.
  21. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    There's so little action or suspense that this Cell isn't too likely to multiply itself into a sequel.
  22. 30
    It's a pleasure to watch, but I found myself wondering if having a story here even mattered to the director at all.
  23. 30
    Jennifer Lopez's butt? Alas, the moment is over all too soon; the movie, sadly, is not.
  24. Reviewed by: Gemma Files
    Visually stunning but emotionally shallow.
  25. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    A slender story that's not particularly suspenseful or involving, resulting in a movie that's a feast to the eye but not much for the intellect.
  26. It's mesmerizing nonetheless for its flagrant disregard for narrative, character, pacing, performance and good lighting.
  27. 20
    If The Cell were six minutes long it would blow your mind. At two hours, it's a disordered muddle of hellacious highs and pedestrian lows.
  28. Disappointing only because its best moments are transcendent; its worst moments, sadly, are just so ordinary.
  29. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Serves up some of the most gruesomely misogynistic imagery in years, then ends with a bid for understanding. Are its makers so deluded that they think they're making the world a more compassionate place?
  30. Almost no plot here and even less character--just a lot of pretexts for S-M imagery, Catholic decor, gobs of gore, and the usual designer schizophrenia.
  31. Any way you slice it, it is still pointless.
  32. Some movies make you sorry you've seen them, and The Cell is one of those. Creepy and horrific, it's a torture chamber film.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 3 out of 18
  1. May 5, 2012
    I am having a hard time wrapping my head around these bad reviews. I am a movie lover who normally is not a big fan of style over substance, but I found this film to have a good story with a well written screenplay. The film uses it's wild imagery to create suspense and to ultimately create a very engaging well paced film. The movie's themes were well laid out and developed and find resolution in a very subtle way. Overall the film ranks high on my favourite serial killer films. Not quite as good as the silence of the lambs but still good none the less. Full Review »
  2. Aug 19, 2012
    I have rarely seen a film that has the scope of this one; it really tests the little grey cells to the maximum. Some scenes are truly off the wall but at the same time totally beautifully conceived and enthralling. It Full Review »
  3. Jun 23, 2012
    I was quite disappointed by this movie. After seeing The Fall by Tarsem I was expecting to be taken on a journey, with interesting characters, a fantasy like story and stunning visuals. But after I Watched the movie I just felt like I had seen your average police thriller. This might be because this was Tarsem's first feature film, or maybe it was because he didn't write the screenplay (whereas he did do in The Fall) but I just wasn't as blown away as I was when I saw The Fall. The overall story basically boils down to your average "we have x hours to find them before they die", which I thought was quite unoriginal. The concept of doing into someone's conscious was interesting, similar to eXistenZ, or Being John Malkovich or the more recent Inception. The acting was alright, nothing really special. The visuals were good (not as good as The Fall or Immortals), there were some interesting scenes but not as much as I hoped for. All in all it was a alright movie, interesting concept but uninteresting story. 6/10. Full Review »